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Rev the Engine: Ribbon-Cutting at Arctic Cat's St. Cloud Facility

(9/23/2016)

Arctic Cat's expanded St. Cloud facility. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

I was at Arctic Cat’s recently expanded engine production (and engineering) facility in St. Cloud, Minn., earlier this week for a ribbon cutting featuring various dignitaries from the St. Cloud area and Arctic Cat.

The occasion was to celebrate the makeover and expansion of the St. Cloud facility; thank the great employees are designing machines and building engines there; and "rev the engine" of a company that's going full-gas down the patch set forth by CEO/President Chris Metz.

Based on what I saw on computer monitors of CAD designers at St. Cloud, and what I gleaned from conversations with several engineers, this is going to be a fun, wild ride! Yep, there’s A LOT of cool stuff coming.

Click to get your motor running.

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Snowmobile Hall of Fame Announces 2017 Inductees

(9/13/2016)

2017 SHOF inductees: bassett, bickford, hauck, hooper

The Snowmobile Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Germain, Wis., announced its four inductees for 2017: Burt Bassett, Bill Bickford, Pat Hauck and John Hooper.

Great men all...these four honorees will be inducted into the SHOF on Feb. 18, 2017, in St. Germain, coinciding with the annual Ride With The Champs and other events .

I might be a little biased, but I'm here to tell you that this event is great fun, full of human goodness and a special opportunity to be among awesome machines and people. Other than myself, everyone there will be really cool.

Click for the career highlights of the 2017 inductees.

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Questions about Sno Baron's Hay Days 50th Anniversary

(9/8/2016)

Arctic Cat sled unveiled at Hay Days. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Answers?!? I hope you have some!

Every year the Sno Baron's Hay Days serves up the first BIG taste of winter and snowmobiling.

With this being the 50th Anniversary and all, I thought I'd ask YOU some of the key questions about what EXACTLY will go down this weekend in North Branch, Minn.

Click to to join the curiosity.

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John Reid's Asphalt Ripping Thundercat

(8/31/2016)

John Reid's Arctic Cat Thundercat "Polish pumpkin" asphalt drag sled.

How about a 5.16-sec./138.1-mph run in just 660 feet? Sounds pretty tasty.

How about doing that naturally aspirated? Delicious!

That's what John Reid's Arctic Cat Thundercat with a Hooper-built 1404cc triple hit this summer.

Click to read the details.

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I See Snowmobiles. She Sees Houses. (How We Saw Our Summer Vacation)

(8/26/2016)

snowmobile vacation photos from michigan.

The Sandberg family was on vacation this past week, for a nice trip to Copper Harbor, Mich. During the 20-or-so hours of driving, I couldn't help but chuckle at how differently we see the world through our truck's windshield.

She sees cute houses, coffee shops, gardens, restaurants, school buildings (she's a teacher) and people.

Conversely, I see snowmobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, ATVs, trail signs and old cars/trucks.

Click to read a little more.

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Spaulding's Vintage Snowmobile Auction Sled List

(8/19/2016)

Greg Spaulding's collection of vintage sleds for Auction Sept. 17, 2016.

As noted in this recent story about a trip to TRF, Arctic Cat engineer and vintage sled business owner Greg Spaulding will auction off his collection of 140-plus vintage sleds.

The auction is set for Saturday, Sept. 17, near St. Hillaire, Minn.

Click to see a full list of machines that are going on the block.

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Soap Box Cat Girls

(8/2/2016)

Stephanie Getz and her Soap Box Derby racer.

Recently Amy and Stephanie Getz raced to top finishes among 450 competitors at the 79th running of the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby at the world famous Derby Downs track in Akron, Ohio.

Click to see a few pix.

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TRF Road Trip: 24 Hours of Arctic Cat

(7/21/2016)

Road tripping with Arctic Cat's Tom Rowland and Jim Dimmerman.

Tis' the summer of Road Trips for some Arctic Cat people, and I got in on the action early this week with my friends Tom Rowland and Jim Dimmerman.

The stated purpose of the trip was for Rowland to pick up a couple "retired" race sleds for his collection, and for an evening BBQ with fellow Arctic Cat friends Greg Spaulding and Larry Coltom.

But like any good road trip, it's the stuff that we weren't expecting that was the most memorable.

Click to see the postcards from our trip.

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6-Month Forecast: Snow

(7/17/2016)

Snowmobiling in Minn. Bluff Country. Winter 2016. Photo ArcticInsider.com

Prediction: Six months from now, there's going to be snow on the ground and sledders making tracks.

And not just in the mountains.

I'm going to keep enjoying summer, but I'm officially in the weather forecasting game now, and my computer modeling shows snow on the ground six months from now.

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211 Horsepower! The Thundercat Reigns Supreme

(7/12/2016)

Two. Hundred. Eleven. Horsepower!

When the 2017 Arctic Cat Thundercat hit 211 hp on the DynoTech dyno last month, it established a new record for a stock snowmobile engine, and it confirmed with a number EXACTLY what was felt in the seat-of-the-pants experience that journalists and a few other lucky riders know from having ridden it last spring.

Click to read a little more about the significance of that feat.

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TGIF: The Days Are Getting Shorter June 24, 2016 Edition

(6/24/2016)

TGIF and snowmobiles are great for mountain riding

I'm thankful for the seasons of life and of the year.

I'm thankful that with the passing of summer solstice, the days are now getting shorter.

I'm thankful that sailing takes me a way, and that snowmobilers are reaching new heights when it comes to backcountry mountain riding.

And I'm thankful it's Friday, June 24, 2016.

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Future Looks Bright: UMD Clean Snowmobile Challenge Team

(6/21/2016)

UMD Clean Snowmobile Challenge Team.

The University of Minnesota Duluth Clean Snowmobile Challenge team is proof that the current generation of youth is doing great things and will shape our future in fantastic ways.

WAY more so than old dumbasses like me who fairly wasted the opportunity that college offered.

Click to see why our future sleds, ATVs, side-by-sides, watercraft, motorcycles and other stuff is going to be really, really cool (and why these are exceptional young men).

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TGIF: Hat's-Off for the June 10, 2016 Edition

(6/10/2016)

Jumping jollywillackers, jokester, here's a vintage sledneck.

Jumping jollywillackers, jokester, here's a vintage sledneck.

I'm thankful for challenge.

I'm thankful for courage.

I'm thankful for those times when I can just open 'er up, nail a wicked jump and let the chips fall where they may.

And I'm thankful it's Friday, June 10, 2016.

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Bang That Oval

(6/9/2016)

Vintage snow oval racing Arctic Cat EXTs.

Before "ditch-banging" entered the lexicon of modern snowmobiles... before X Games and snocross... and even before the advent of independent front suspension... there was oval racing.

On snow.

With bumps that turned into jumps.

And the men and women who raced on such ovals called themselves "oval-bangers" on all of their social media channels.

Herein ends today's history lesson.

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Pucker-Factor: The Joy (or not) of the Clench

(6/1/2016)

Sandberg is a professional snowmobile rider. Or not.

By all calculations I experience significant pucker-factor 47 times during a normal snowmobile-riding season

(Pucker-factor is that “holy-crap-this-could-get-ugly” thought that overwhelms my brain the same instant that my body involuntarily produces a strange contraction during which it flexes muscles I didn’t even know existed.)

Click for the fully-clenched story.

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Fresh Groomed

(5/26/2016)

Perfectly groomed snowmobile trails. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

That moment when you meet a snowmobile trail groomer going the opposite direction on the trail!

Click to see if you're experience is the same.

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Memorial Weekend: 2016 Classic Sled Roundup at SHOF

(5/23/2016)

SHOF classic sled roundup

If you're a fan of snowmobiles, vintage, racing and some of the most idylic areas of the midwest, then you can have a truly memorable Memorial Weekend by spending a day/weekend at the Classic Sled Roundup at the Snowmobile Hall of Fame in St. Germain, Wis.

Click for a few details of this Arctic Cat-sponsored event.

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Experience the Arctic Cat VR 360 (as in, Virtual Reality)

(5/18/2016)

Don't be confused: VR 360 is NOT a new snowmobile or UTV.

It IS an awesome way to ride Arctic Cat Wildcats in Moab, Utah, with Tony Stewart, and to carve up a mountainside on a Mountain Cat with freeriders David McClure and Rob Kincaid.

VR is short for Virtual Reality, and the Arctic Cat 360 experience is the first in the OE powersports industry to offer the immersive, user-controlled technology.

Click to see and learn more, including where you can experience it for yourself.

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Beauty in the Backyard

(5/9/2016)

2016 Arctic Cat Crosstrek 800. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Last Friday, temperatures here in the Twin Cities flirted with 90 degrees F. I already have a nice foundation for the farmer's tan that my children will tease me about for the rest of the summer. This past weekend I mowed the lawn for the third time this season. The graduation cards keep coming in, reminding me that school will soon be out.

And tomorrow I'll be in the red sand canyons and desert of Moab, Utah, to soak in Rally on the Rocks aboard some Arctic Cat Wildcats.

By every measure it's late spring, and I am truly enjoying it.

But even though I've pickled the sleds for the off-season and the next white flakes to hit the yard are six months away, I still steal a moment or two each day and think of winter. Glorious winter, and the beauty of snow in the backyard.

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TGIF: The May 6, 2016 Edition

(5/6/2016)

The sno-mo-wheeler

I'm thankful for extra ground clearance and the log-cutting feature of the drop-down chain.

I'm thankful for the legendary cornering prowess of the famed ZR chassis.

I'm thankful for snow-mo-wheelers and their ability to bring more braaap to every circumstance.

And I'm thankful it's Friday, May 6, 2016.

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